Please the Eye and Tempt the Palate: Cannellini Bean and Rosemary Brandade

June 7, 2012

It took a long time for me to understand that just because a recipe is simple, doesn’t mean it can’t be spectacular.

Keep It Simple & Seasonal

This mantra has completely changed the way I cook - both for regular weeknight meals and entertaining guests. By focusing on simple, seasonal ingredients - even if that just means growing a pot of rosemary on the kitchen windowsill you can add a huge amount of oomph to very undemanding recipes.

Then add in a little visual flair and simple ingredients have been transformed into much more than just the sum of the parts.

This cannellini bean and rosemary brandade is simplicity itself to make. Present it in a nice bowl, add some chopped rosemary and a little sprig for garnish, serve with a beautiful spoon and simple is transformed. The silver spoon in the photo is actually ‘meant’ to be used for sugar, but I view the names of silver pieces as suggestions rather than life sentences.

Cannellini Bean and Rosemary Brandade

1 can cannellini beans
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
2-3 sprigs rosemary, strip the needles off the stems
Pinch of sea salt

Open the beans and rinse thoroughly under running water in a colander. After letting the excess water drain off, place the beans in a food processor fitted with the sharp cutting blade. Add the rosemary needles, salt and 2 tbsp. olive oil. Process until the mixture is a smooth consistency, adding more oil if needed. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Can be made several days ahead, and is best if made 1 day before use. Recipe can be scaled up or down as needed.

Serve and enjoy!

Nancy Stuckwisch of Silver Magpies has had a life-long fascination with vintage silver. She loves to cook and entertain and believes we should get the silverware out of the cupboard, onto the table, and then into the dishwasher. She writes for her own blog and is a regular columnist for Silver Magazine.



Susie French's picture

My daughter has food allergies and can't eat hummus. We are always looking for a good "dip" alternative, and this recipe looks delicious! And I agree, simple recipes are perfect because of their simplicity!

Silver Magpies's picture

Hello Susie - I'm glad to add to your repertoire of dips! As I said in response to a comment above you can play on lots of variations on this theme. Different types of beans, oils, and herbs....essentially an endless combination...just pick flavors you like.


Shelley's picture

Talk about an easy dip!

Always into getting another unusual dip to entertain with.

Thank you!

Silver Magpies's picture

Hi Shelly - Yes it is super simple! Great variations can be made by using different the tomato flavored oil from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes. Yum!


Laurie's picture

I don't even know what a brandade is, but I think I'd like some! Is it a side dish? A dip? Maybe both? I love the oyster-looking spoon too! I think Nancy is going to reform my cooking...

Silver Magpies's picture

Hi Laurie - It can be a dip for veggies, or a spread on a sandwich. I like to spoon some on a lettuce leaf and the roll it up to eat as a wrap.


Elainne's picture

I don't FaceBook, Tweet, Google+, or Pin... but am very glad to have found this recipe and beautiful presentation suggestion. I am always on the lookout for new recipes/presentation suggestions of quick/nutritious dishes that don't scream 'quick'! This definately will be on the menu for our guests to enjoy this weekend - thank you! (what else do you cook??!!)

Meanwhile, I'll submit the ultimate vote of approval - I'll add a shortcut to Foodista so I can quickly return.

Silver Magpies's picture

Thank you Elainne. I'm very flattered you have added a shortcut!

Claire Tompkins's picture

I like the fancy name of this recipe. It sounds like it's got 25 ingredients and takes 3 days to make. Impressive!

Silver Magpies's picture

Hi Claire - Name and presentation can add a lot to the total package...but of course the recipe still has to be good!